Home

Most bridleway or public rights of way Ive seen (not the open to all traffic ones or footpaths) specify Horses, Walkers, Cyclists, No motorised vehicles.

I know its a bit of a gray area still but surely thats fairly clear cut, no motors, doesnt specify petrol, diesel, gas, electric, just no motors. 

Has there been any change in the law lately or is it simply a case of being too difficult to enforce?

11 comments

Avatar
Shades [475 posts] 1 month ago
3 likes

The Sunday Times ran an article (16 Jun) about the increase in e-MTBs.  Someone suggested (from the cycle hating land of the New Forest no less) that they damaged paths.  Seems ironic based on the fact that motorbikes and 4x4s have been trashing byways for years and nobody has done anything.  Horses do more damage to a bridleway than any MTB, incl e-MTBs I'd wager.  Considering it's a pedal-assist motor I wouldn't put it in the motorised bracket but unless the law is clarified the anti-cyclists will exploit it.  The article highlighted a person who, due to age and cancer, was able to keep cycling due to e-MTBs.  If e-MTBs get more people into cycling, especially ones who are scared of road riding, then all the better.

Avatar
massive4x4 [43 posts] 1 month ago
1 like
Shades wrote:

The Sunday Times ran an article (16 Jun) about the increase in e-MTBs.  Someone suggested (from the cycle hating land of the New Forest no less) that they damaged paths.  Seems ironic based on the fact that motorbikes and 4x4s have been trashing byways for years and nobody has done anything.  Horses do more damage to a bridleway than any MTB, incl e-MTBs I'd wager.  Considering it's a pedal-assist motor I wouldn't put it in the motorised bracket but unless the law is clarified the anti-cyclists will exploit it.  The article highlighted a person who, due to age and cancer, was able to keep cycling due to e-MTBs.  If e-MTBs get more people into cycling, especially ones who are scared of road riding, then all the better.

You are joking right?

The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 dramatically reduced the amount of roads which could be used for green laning.

Personally I think it is a shame that the Ramblers association and similar want to essentially remove any space for people to enjoy motorbiking and 4x4s on despite the fact that tracks accessible to those vehicles represent a tiny % of rights of way.

Offical adviced from

https://www.gov.uk/electric-bike-rules

"If a bike meets the EAPC requirements it’s classed as a normal pedal bike. This means you can ride it on cycle paths and anywhere else pedal bikes are allowed."

Avatar
Drinfinity [223 posts] 1 month ago
5 likes

It’s not a grey area. The law is clear.

 

The bike is an “electrically assisted pedal cycle” (or EAPC, or ebike, or Pedelec) if: the bike has pedals that propel it; the electric motor won’t assist you when you’re travelling more than 25 km/h (15.5mph); and the power doesn’t exceed 250 watts.

 

Such ebikes can be ridden by those over 14 years old wherever a regular bicycle is permitted.

 

 

Avatar
John Smith [264 posts] 4 weeks ago
4 likes
massive4x4 wrote:
Shades wrote:

The Sunday Times ran an article (16 Jun) about the increase in e-MTBs.  Someone suggested (from the cycle hating land of the New Forest no less) that they damaged paths.  Seems ironic based on the fact that motorbikes and 4x4s have been trashing byways for years and nobody has done anything.  Horses do more damage to a bridleway than any MTB, incl e-MTBs I'd wager.  Considering it's a pedal-assist motor I wouldn't put it in the motorised bracket but unless the law is clarified the anti-cyclists will exploit it.  The article highlighted a person who, due to age and cancer, was able to keep cycling due to e-MTBs.  If e-MTBs get more people into cycling, especially ones who are scared of road riding, then all the better.

You are joking right?

The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 dramatically reduced the amount of roads which could be used for green laning.

Personally I think it is a shame that the Ramblers association and similar want to essentially remove any space for people to enjoy motorbiking and 4x4s on despite the fact that tracks accessible to those vehicles represent a tiny % of rights of way.

Offical adviced from

https://www.gov.uk/electric-bike-rules

"If a bike meets the EAPC requirements it’s classed as a normal pedal bike. This means you can ride it on cycle paths and anywhere else pedal bikes are allowed."

 

To be fair the BHS and RA would happily campaign to remove everyone who wasn’t a rambler or a horse rider, including cyclists, runners, climbers and people who do the wrong type of walking, from “their” paths, and then fight it out between them for sole access to everything.

Avatar
bechdan [232 posts] 4 weeks ago
0 likes
Drinfinity wrote:

It’s not a grey area. The law is clear.

 

The bike is an “electrically assisted pedal cycle” (or EAPC, or ebike, or Pedelec) if: the bike has pedals that propel it; the electric motor won’t assist you when you’re travelling more than 25 km/h (15.5mph); and the power doesn’t exceed 250 watts.

 

Such ebikes can be ridden by those over 14 years old wherever a regular bicycle is permitted.

 

 

That's useful to know, I haven't come across that definition before, thanks
I still dont approve of ebikes for the masses but I know my opinion means nothing either.

Avatar
mattsccm [409 posts] 4 weeks ago
2 likes

Whinging and moaning aside. 

Ebikes, assuming that they aare not "chipped" or what ever, and are thus withing the roughly 15mph limit,  are classed as cycles and can be used legaly where ever a normal bike is used. End. 

Lets ignore other rants shall we as well as getting terminolgy right? A Byway will  have legal vehicular right for example whereas the term path may not even refer to a public right of way let alone somewhere a bike can legally be. 

Avatar
Mungecrundle [1484 posts] 4 weeks ago
0 likes

Specialist interest group speaks out in support of special interest group's special interests shocker!

Avatar
Crippledbiker [95 posts] 4 weeks ago
3 likes

Yup, ebikes are mechanically assisted, not mechanically propelled, unless you have a manual throttle - using that and not cranking makes you mechanically propelled again.

This, incidentally, created a fun loophole with clip-on handcycles for wheelchairs; we remain cat.1 (cat.2/3 requires mechanical propulsion[1]) - which means the 4/8mph limit doesn't apply, and we, uh, remain pedestrians, and are still permitted on the pavement etc.

This will last until one of us runs somebody over...

So, in summary - ebikes may go wherever normal bikes may go, unless you're running on a manual throttle, in which case you're breaking the EAPC 2015[2].

[1] Mechanical propulsion doesn't mean that there is a mechanism by which it is propelled ie; crankset/chain/cassette drivechain - it means that the motive force/propulsion comes from a mechanical source - an engine, battery, reactor etc. Shorthand, non-biological power sources.

[2] This isn't really enforced unless you're clearly taking the piss. Also, only applies to normal bikes, because the Pedal Cycle Safely Regulations 2010 defined the word Bicycle as having two wheels and foot pedals - handcycles aren't in scope, so the manual throttle ban doesn't apply! There is also some provision for "walk-assist", but I'm not 100% on that bit.

Avatar
bechdan [232 posts] 4 weeks ago
0 likes

all good responses thanks

Avatar
miekwidnes [7 posts] 4 weeks ago
0 likes

Just a couple of extra bits

1) older ebikes are allowed to have a throttle that powers them up to 15.5 mph as long as they were imported/made before 1st Jan 2016 - so if you see someone (well not you lot - you know who) using a throttle then they may be OK if the ebike is older (so mine is OK!!)

This is due to 'grandfather' rights from before the law was 'clarified'

 

2) the walk assist mode allows the ebike to go up to about 4 mph if you are pushing it - and pressing the button - would help going uphill especially on a muddy path!

 

3) Unless someone is acting like an idiot and going way too fast just using a massive motor - then I can't see any law enforcement people doing any spot checks on power, throttles etc etc

 

 

Avatar
Rick_Rude [231 posts] 4 weeks ago
3 likes

"999 Emergency, how can I assist you?"

"Yes, there's a mountain biker with a 500W motor on a bridleway. I noticed the rider was moving uphill without pedalling, send someone now! Somebody please think of the children!"